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Former head of New York police union expected to appear in federal court

Ed Mullins, former president of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association exits following his initial court appearance at the United States Courthouse in New York
Ed Mullins, former president of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), exits following his initial court appearance for defrauding a union, at the United States Courthouse in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., February 23, 2022.
REUTERS/David ‘Dee’ Delgado

The former head of one of New York City’s police unions was charged with fraud, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday, nearly five months after his resignation in the wake of a federal probe into the labor organization he led.

Ed Mullins, who was first elected president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) in 2002, surrendered to authorities in New York and appeared before a judge at the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Prosecutors charged him with one count of wire fraud, alleging that he schemed to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the union between 2017 and his resignation in October 2021, according to a news release.

Mullins used a personal credit card to dine at expensive restaurants and shop at luxury stores. He sought to be reimbursed by the SBA for more than $1 million in expenses, much of which was fraudulent, prosecutors say.

Mullins “abused his position of trust and authority to fund a lavish lifestyle that was paid for by the monthly dues of the thousands of hard-working sergeants of the NYPD,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.

Neither a lawyer for Mullins nor the union could be reached immediately for comment after the Justice Department statement. The SBA represents 12,000 current and retired members of the largest U.S. police force, according to its Facebook profile.

His resignation was applauded at the time by former New York Mayor de Blasio. The union chief frequently used the SBA’s Twitter account to air grievances with the mayor and his administration. Mullins often accused de Blasio of being soft on crime and turning his back on the NYPD.

Updated at 5:16 p.m. on Feb. 23.

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